April 2019

Monthly Newsletter


Congratulations on the fast-approaching conclusion of your college search process! Questions and concerns from a year ago surely seem distant now; as the process unfolded throughout your senior year, those questions and concerns were replaced by growing confidence and feelings of competence as you researched schools, took ownership of your applications, met deadlines, and waited patiently for decisions. We could not be more proud of each of you! We know the process can feel arbitrary, creating feelings of uncertainty that are further heightened by the degree of vulnerability that surfaces as you self-reflect and present your "best self" for review by admission committees. Yet even in the face of uncertainty, you have navigated the ups and downs of the process with maturity and grace, knowing full well that college decisions do not define you as an individual – nor are they measures of your self-worth or markers of your future success. We know you will continue to build upon the many experiences and growth opportunities from the past four years. You are well-prepared to further explore your talents, delve deeper into your interests, discover what the world has to offer, and consider how you might contribute to the communities in which you live. Again, congratulations!

Senior To-Do List

  • Deposit – You need to deposit at one school prior to May 1. Note: You may not deposit at more than one school.
  • Waitlist – Be sure to reach out to the schools where you have been waitlisted to let them know of your level of interest. Follow the guidelines provided by each school to ensure your response is received. However, you should wait until mid-April to write to the admissions counselor to re-affirm your interest in the school and send any updates.
  • Final Transcript – Once you select your school and send the deposit, you will begin receiving requests for a final transcript. Please do not worry; final transcripts will be ready right after graduation and are sent to each senior's selected school by the College Counseling Office in early June.
  • Celebrate! – Please be on the lookout for an email from the College Counseling Office inviting you to a congratulatory celebration in recognition of a great year!


Though a busy spring for the junior class, our juniors have been wonderfully pro-active about meeting with us and reaching out when they have questions.

Student-Parent Meetings – If you have not yet scheduled this meeting, please coordinate your schedule with that of your parents to determine suitable times to meet with your college counselor, and then reach out to Barb Sanford so she can find a workable time for this important meeting.

Parent Questionnaire –Since parents know their child best, we truly value and appreciate the insight parents provide by completing the questionnaire.

Teacher Recommendations – All juniors need to complete the Teacher Recommendation form and ask two teachers to write on their behalf. Forms were provided to juniors at the junior meeting held during the last week of March; they are due in College Counseling by Tuesday, April 16. If needed, extra forms are available in our office.

Summer Essay Writing Workshop – If interested in getting a head start on your college essay, Dr. Simeone is offering two essay writing workshops this summer. For more information, please check out the summer programs section of the school website.


College counseling assignments were shared with sophomores in late March. We are excited to get to know the Class of 2021 and have invited our sophomores to come and meet with us for an informal introductory conversation. The focus of these meetings is to begin learning about what matters to each student, and his/her individual academic and extracurricular interests.


Optional Practice SAT/ACT Test - Sunday, April 14
We are offering sophomores the opportunity to take the ACT test on Sunday, April 14 at 1:30 p.m. in the SAC. The exam will be administered by Clayborne and will last approximately three hours. This test is offered at no cost to you. Within a few weeks of taking the test, Clayborne will provide you and your child with a detailed breakdown of the test results. This will help determine whether your son or daughter should take the ACT or SAT. Students who currently receive extended time from the College Board will also receive extended time for this test on Saturday, April 13. Please register by April 5 via the link provided by email.

For important insight into the admissions landscape, we often turn to the blogs hosted by many Admissions offices. Given the many questions students and parents have about course selection each year, we are sharing the following information from U.Va.'s admission blog. 

  1. All of your core classes are important.
    A lot of people focus on the core areas that correspond to their current academic interest. I've even had parents wave off certain subjects because their student isn't interested in them or they don't come "naturally" to them. I wish they'd stop this. High school is the time to get a broad foundation in several areas and college is the time to specialize. We are most concerned with a student's work in four core areas (in alpha order, not order of importance): English, Math, Science, Social Science, and World Language.
  2. The number of APs doesn't drive a decision.
    Plenty of people want to know how many AP courses a student should take to be competitive in our process. We don't approach applications this way. First of all, not everyone goes to a school with APs as an option. Second, some schools limit how many AP courses a student may take. Third, with the number of AP courses offered these days, you can rack up a lot of APs in just one subject. There could be students with big AP numbers who also haven't taken an advanced course in other core areas.
  3. Doubling up in one subject at the expense of the core doesn't "look good."
    There are some students who are so excited about a certain subject that they want to double or even triple up on courses in that area. I don't think it's smart to drop core subjects to load up classes in one area. Cover the corer and use your electives to explore your interests.

Featured Blog

For the adults reading this newsletter, this month's blog selection is a little bit like looking in the mirror.  The author, Will Dix, highlights the importance of letting students "be themselves" when crafting their essays and completing their college applications, and he identifies many of the "traps" we adults (parents, teachers, and college counselors alike) fall into with our well-intentioned efforts to support our children and students during the college application process.

Upcoming Opportunities

Academy Day 2018 If interested in learning about the US Service Academies, Senator Mark Warner is hosting a gathering on April 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Paramount Theater for interested students and their parents to meet with officials from all five academies, as well as representatives from ROTC programs, Virginia Tech, and Virginia Military Institute. Representatives from Virginia Congressional offices will also be available to answer questions regarding the application procedures for congressional nominations.
Camp Holiday Trails, a local camp for children from throughout the mid-Atlantic who are living with medical challenges, is looking for summer volunteers. There are opportunities to work with camp counselors on a variety of fun camp activities and programs, and to help with their horse program. Scheduling is flexible.
Art and Writing Awards It isn't too early to start thinking now about taking part in next fall's Scholastic Art and Writing competition. Students can apply in one of 28 categories to earn a scholarship and have their artwork exhibited or writing published. Awards range from $500 to $2,500. New submissions are typically accepted beginning in September each year, and deadlines vary by region and contest.
Job Opportunities – The aquatics program at U.Va. IM-Rec Sports is looking for summer staff for their youth swim program and lifeguarding. Both positions require applicants to be a minimum of 16 years of age.
  • Youth Swim Instructor: Applicants must have experience coaching swim league or teaching youth swim lessons. The pay for Youth Swim Instructors ranges between $12 - $25/hour depending on experience/certification and includes access to all U.Va. facilities and programs.
  • Lifeguard: The pay for lifeguards is $12/hour and includes access to all U.Va. facilities and programs. Must be certified in American Red Cross Lifeguarding/CPR AED/First Aid.
St. Anne's-Belfiled School
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